Does everything happen for a reason?

I’ve started three blog posts today, and they all ended up in the electronic trash. Sometimes being shallow is painful. I have something serious to write about, and I just can’t do it.

Beautiful young woman with cocktail looking through a restaurant window.

Photo courtesy depositphotos, used with permission

When I try to write on a long-faced subject, I get so bored with my own writing that I drift off to sleep while typing. And that can be dangerous, since last week I fell out of my chair and bumped my head.

Maybe I could label my sober scribbles the ‘melatonin series’ if I ever actually publish this hypnotic dribble.

I’ve been a little down lately with some worries troubling me: job insecurity prompted me to cancel my bimonthly online clothing order from Stitch Fix; I don’t like the latest IOS update that slowed down my iMac to the speed of dial-up; and I’ve had a case of writer’s block with dozens of posts in the draft folder and no inspiration to finish them.

Why can’t I overcome these mental obstacles?

The weather is getting colder and the fallen leaves are a nuisance, blowing into the garage and winding their way into the house. I shiver at the thought of the upcoming winter with blustery cold nor’eastern winds and storms, burying us in snow and bringing below zero temperatures.

Why can’t I live somewhere warmer?

I’m getting more and more involved with writing and the blogging community, and have had essays published in several online magazines/websites. My self-doubts seem to grow along with my outreach.

Why can’t I just celebrate and claim some success?

I wish I could write as well as Peg Schulte. She is such a talented humor writer that she can even write about death and make me laugh. And cry. I hope you will click on this linked post and read it, since it is so much better than what I am writing right now: Magic Carpet Ride.

Why can’t I write as well as she does?

Life is just not fair.

How many times have I said this?

And suddenly it hit me; if life was fair we’d all have cancer. Like my beloved cousin Colleen, who died last week.

She lived a healthy lifestyle, possessing none of the habits/vices we associate with early deaths or cancer.

I remember when my sister Linda was dying of lung cancer, people would ask me, “Does she smoke?” When I replied, “No, but she did for many years,” I could see the visible relief come across their faces. Ahhhhh, she smoked. So surely that explains her situation, and exempts me, the non-smoker, from such a fate.

Why do we still think people are to blame for their illnesses?

The Teacher summed up divine fairness when he said in Matthew 5:45 that God causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. In this same chapter He promises comfort: Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Is it possible everything does NOT happen for a reason?

Meanwhile, I still have some things on my mind; gratitude for my health and family, the snug little home I live in, and the ability to write and admire the work of writers who inspire me to improve and grow.

Rest in peace, dear cousin.

Colleen in garden

She left us too soon, and without any reason.

©2015, Stevens. All rights reserved.

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34 thoughts on “Does everything happen for a reason?

  1. Yes, it’s not fair. But I agree with you – we do tend to look for the reason and the blame in order to feel like it couldn’t happen to us. It is frightening to believe bad things could be arbitrary. Sorry to hear about the loss of your cousin last year.

    • Thank you Lucy. I find I’m much less likely to say life is not fair if I focus on what is going well for me, knowing this streak of good fortune is temporary by the very nature of life. I can’t explain why my cousin died so young, and I’m no longer going to try. Thanks for your comment.

    • So true Carol and it does break my heart to blame people for illnesses. When you point an index finger there are four fingers pointing back which is a big clue to look at oneself, which is all we can control anyway. And sometimes that seems impossible too!

  2. Molly I’m sorry for your loss. I am reading this today almost a year after you wrote this post and do you know it will be one year on 18th since my brother passed away as a result of cancer. He only suffered for 6 weeks but it was a shock to us all and he also lived in another country. He was like your cousin a person who lived a healthy life – didn’t smoke and drank little. I have to believe things happen for a reason it makes me appreciate all I have in my life.

    • So sorry to learn of the loss of your brother, Sue. I lost my sister to cancer and my brother had a close call with leukemia but he is still with us and doing well. I do think we can see the good that can come out of crappy situations and treasure my family and my health as do you. Thanks so much for stopping by and I’ll be thinking of you on the anniversary. Time does help but the pain of loss is timeless.

  3. I am sorry for the loss of your cousin, I always think there is a reason , just don’t always understand why- reading Wayne Dyer’s autobiography is helping me understand more why’s . Love your thinking and the way your write. i have many started posts sitting in my drafts maybe I should trash them xx

    • Thank you Suzie. Wayne Dyer was a remarkable person with a lot of insight wasn’t he? I have to confess, I don’t permanently trash the drafts. You never know when you might want to go poking around in the trash for inspiration. LOL. Thanks for all you do to promote us mid-life women writers!

  4. When bad things happen it sure doesn’t feel like there’s a reason. Like my dear friend who lost her husband today. I’m sorry for the loss of your cousin.

    On occasion, things happen because of our choices or the choices of other people. But I’ve never been able to make sense out of some things.

    • So sorry for your friend’s loss, Linda. Today is my sister Linda’s birthday and she died in 2012. Like you, I realize there are choices people make that can contribute to risk for diseases, but some people take the same risks without consequence. So I’m okay with not knowing why and it is a relief not to blame people for what happens to them. Poor Job took a lot of grief from his ‘friends’ when he lost everything and he was ‘blameless.’ Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  5. It’s so hard for us to understand any reasons at times. I believe there is a greater reason in the unfolding of life, way beyond our understanding. Great reflections and questions you pose at this sad time for you – condolences – and through all this you still find gratitude – inspirational, thank you 🙂

    • Thank you Marg. Gratitude is the key for me to find solace in times of trouble. But it doesn’t mean I get there immediately. There are definitely things way beyond human understanding and I believe someday I’ll see how it all fits together. In the meantime we are left with sorrows and questions. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  6. Oh sweetie. I’m sorry for your loss, but love how you are using it to turn around a completely understandable mindset. How many times have I felt bored of myself, my words, my thoughts. How many times have I worried that I am focusing on tiny personal problems instead of global worries. I find this post relatable and inspiring. Thanks!

    • Thank you Anna for your kind words and comments. I love it when something I write resonates with others, since we are all in this crazy life together trying to cope with trying times. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  7. I’ve had so many losses, and each one was made so, so much worse by those who tried link each drama with something I’d done. Sometimes there is clear cause and effect; cancer is more likely when you smoke – but not always. I had to have my eye removed after a freak accident and a grief therapist wanted to know what I thought I had done to cause it. That’s when I said “Enough” – sometimes an accident is an accident, sometimes cancer is unpredictable. Sometimes the world is a mystery- that’s what makes it adventure.

    I am sorry for your loss.

    • Thank you Beth. Well said, and sad that a grief counselor would believe you caused a freak accident. I’ve been reading the book of Job coincidentally and it is full of examples of ‘how not to comfort the bereaved.’ Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  8. Molly, I’m so sorry to hear about your cousin! May God bless those effected by her passing!
    I am a firm believer that a lot of things in this life do happen for a reason!

  9. I totally get how you’re feeling, Molly. Especially having lost a beloved family member — be easy on yourself. Things will get better.

    • Thank you Helene. It is tough to lose loved ones, and is one of the costs of living into mid-life and beyond. I remember talking to my parents before they passed, and it seemed like they were attending a funeral every week. It is wonderful to have the outlet of writing to express my feelings. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  10. So sorry for your loss, Molly. She was way too young, like Linda and so very many others.

    You’re a talented writer with a knack for finding the right words and tweak of humor. Don’t get discouraged. Sometimes the sap runs in a steady stream, and sometimes it’s just a trickle. You’re a worthy wordsmith, IMHO.

    • Thank you so much Sharon. That means a lot coming from you with your library and literature background. I am going to keep going at it, and it is readers like you who keep me going. You know more than anyone how unfair sorrows are distributed. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  11. Molly,
    Thank you for your gentle but obvious reminder that life is not always fair, we don’t have all the answers and we must accept that. As I was really struggling one night, my husband, Peter, shared that verse (Matthew 5:45) with me, a few days before Colleen passed. I think if she could talk to us today, Colleen would tell us all to live everyday as if it were our last, be thankful for everything good in our lives and trust God take care of the rest.
    Love you,

    • Thank you Belinda. I am so glad you saw the post and commented. You and the entire family have been in my thoughts and prayers constantly. I know you are all strong and support each other. What an inspiration Colleen is to us all! She really did teach us how to live and make the most of each day. And to trust God in all things. Love you back. XOXO

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